JULY 2009 ……..COEUR D’ALENE MOUNTAINS WASHINGTON
In July 2009, I received that call. A young woman, named Mandy, stated that her life had become a living Hell and that she could no longer leave the house in the evening. “I am literally afraid of the dark and under siege in my own home at night!”
Mandy was living in a farmhouse outside a small town in east-central Washington, less than a mile from the Idaho border. About 2 weeks prior to contacting me, her and her mother had noticed bright red and white lights hovering above the Coeur d’Alene Mountains. As they watched the lights, Mandy began to feel dizzy and fearful. That night, she had a horrific nightmare that involved constant flashing lights and loud mechanical noises. The next morning, she woke feeling nauseous and light-headed. Mandy was a schoolteacher but had to call in sick.
By the next day, Mandy began to feel better, but the lights over the mountains continued on for several nights. She no longer had any dreams, but she still had the sense of fear linger with her. Her mother thought that Mandy was simply over-reacting to the sighting of the lights.
Then a few nights later, Mandy and her mother were in the kitchen cleaning up after a late dinner. They began to hear popping sounds coming from the back yard. As they looked out the window, they both noticed hundreds of small red and white lights flying in all directions. Each time a pair of lights collided, there was a distinct popping. Mandy ran into the living room and looked out the window. There were red and white lights everywhere, out by the road and in the field.
Her mother picked up the telephone in order to call the police, but there was no dial tone. By that time, the lights in the house began to flicker. There were also strange sounds coming from the roof, similar to scratching. This continued for about 5 minutes, then suddenly stopped. They were both confused and scared. The phone was now working, but her mother thought that there was no reason to call the police.
Mandy walked outside to see if there was any indication of what had just occurred. Everything seemed fine, but there was a slight odor in the air. She told me that it reminded her of burnt motor oil, but she couldn’t find a source. She eventually went back inside the house, but still bewildered by what had happened.
The next night, at approximately 10:30 p.m. Mandy was getting ready for bed. While standing in front of her bathroom mirror, she noticed two loud thuds on the roof. She went into her mother’s room to see if she had heard the sounds, but she was already in bed asleep. While walking in the upstairs hallway towards her room, she heard several more thuds on the roof, as well as scampering sounds in the attic. She looked out her bedroom window and once again witnessed hundreds of small red and white lights flying about in different directions. The noises in the attic had waken her mother. They both yelled for each other, as all the electricity in the house cut off.
They ran into Mandy’s room and sat nervously on the bed. The thuds on the roof and the scampering in the attic continued. They lit a few candles, hoping the activity would soon end. They felt like prisoners in their own home, worried about what would happen next. Then suddenly, the lights came back on and the noises stopped. Mandy later told me that the commotion went on for at least an hour. Neither of them got much sleep that night.
A few days later, Mandy contacted me by telephone. I was referred to her by a paranormal investigator in Spokane. As soon as I began talking to Mandy and her mother, I sensed that this was not any run-of-the-mill unexplained encounter. They had once again experienced similar activity the previous night. Mandy commented that she felt like they were both in danger and asked if I had ever heard of a similar experience. I was understandably dumbfounded by the series of events but, at the same time, I was concerned that the activity may eventually lead to a physical intervention. I didn’t mention my unease.
I believe that we talked for about 3 hours. There was nothing exceptional about Mandy and her mother. They had lived together in the family home since Mandy was born. There was no information offered about Mandy’s father, so I didn’t press the issue. Her mother had recently retired from her position as a state worker. I asked them to keep a journal on the activity and to contact me. This is my normal routine when working cases. During the interview, Mandy asked; “Why is this happening to us?” I didn’t want to tell her that they may have been singled out, but I really did sense that this may have been the case. Little did I know it would be my last contact with Mandy.
After I got off the telephone with Mandy and her mother, I started to examine several incident databases in an attempt to find any similar events. Continued activity to the same witnesses over a period of time is somewhat unusual, and I was concerned that there may eventually be an escalation.
The next day I expected to receive a follow-up telephone call from Mandy. In fact, I called and left a message asking that she let me know if there had been any further activity. I waited for 3 days, and no telephone call or email came my way. Then, on a Sunday afternoon, the anticipated call came. It was Mandy’s mother. She apologized for not getting back to me. There was an obvious distress in her voice. After a brief pause, she calmly said; “Mandy is missing.”
I got a sudden sick feeling in my stomach. Mandy had gone to bed not long after we had talked on the telephone. Her mother remained downstairs in the living room watching television. At about 11 p.m. she decided to go to her bedroom. As she passed Mandy’s bedroom, she noticed light coming from the bottom of the door. She knocked on the door in order to check on her. There was no response. As she opened the door, the room went completely dark. She flicked on the light switch by the door and observed that Mandy was not in bed. She called out to her, but there was no response. Panic was beginning to set in as she literally screamed, “Mandy!” while running throughout the house. There was no trace of her, inside or out. Mandy was gone.
The local authorities had no explanation. All of Mandy’s personal items, including her car, remained. It was as if she simply vanished. Since Mandy was an adult, there wasn’t really much that the police investigators could do. They suspected that she took off with someone during the night. I asked her mother to keep me updated, but I never really expected to hear back from her. As far as I know, Mandy has never returned home. The last time I made an inquiry with the Washington State Police, her case remains unsolved.
Mandy’s disappearance still haunts me. I am certain that she was abducted by an unknown force, but that doesn’t absolve me of feeling a bit of guilt. I realize that my regret seems ridiculous since there was nothing that I could have done. Nonetheless, I suspect that the stigma of her ordeal will always remain with me. Lon Strickler. NOTE: The above image is CGI.
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THANKS TO LON STRICKLER AND HTTP://WWW.PHANTOMSANDMONSTERS.COM